Two things of beauty...

Keats, J.

Endymion. A Poetic Romance by John Keats, with engravings by John Buckland-Wright. [With a bookplate designed by Maurits Escher].

Published 1947
Item ID 77636
€8,000.00

excl. VAT

London, Golden Cockerel Press, 1947. Tall 4to (32.5 x 20.1 cm). 152 pp.; many woodcut illustrations (several page-sized). Original vellum over boards. Front board with gilt vignette.

One of a hundred copies specially bound in vellum by the master binders Francis Sangorski and George Sutcliffe. This one being no. 50. With the bookplate of G. H. 's-Gravesande, designed by and printed for the Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972), on the front pastedown. Journalist, poet, critic and essayist G. H. 's-Gravesande, known by his nickname Hein (1882-1965). "Hein 's-Gravesande was one of the first critics to pay serious attention to the work of M.C. Escher, and the artist owes much to him. Hein 's-Gravesande was born Goverdus Henricus Pannekoek in Buitenzorg in the former Dutch East Indies. In 1904, he started working as a general proofreader and reporter for the liberal newspaper Het Vaderland in The Hague. ... He would become best known as an art journalist. In 1947, he retired as editor of Het Vaderland, for which he received the knighthood of Orange-Nassau. However, he remained a staff member of the newspaper. ... 's-Gravesande first saw the work of Escher when the Emblemata series appeared in book form in the summer of 1932. He decided to visit Escher while he was staying with his parents in The Hague. Shortly afterwards, he gave a lecture on graphic art on the occasion of the opening of the Joh. D. Scherft art gallery on Laan van Meerdervoort in The Hague. Escher was also featured at the opening exhibition, and 's-Gravesande praised his work. A year later, on 28 October 1933, he returned to the same gallery to open a solo exhibition on Escher, once again singing the praises of his prints. He continued following Escher over the ensuing years. In 1938, he wrote an article on Escher in Elsevier's Maandschrift, followed in 1940 by the book M.C. Escher en zijn Experimenten: Een Uitzonderlijk Graficus (M.C. Escher and his Experiments: An Exceptional Graphic Artist.) In the latter publication, he discusses the life and work of Escher extensively, analysing several prints in detail, including the Emblemata series, Development I and II, Metamorphosis II, Sky and Water I and II and Cycle. This was the second publication confirming Escher’s artistic credibility and place in the art world, following art historian G. J. Hoogewerff’s laudatory article on him in Elsevier’s Maandschrift in 1931. In his own text, 's-Gravesande displays an excellent understanding of the themes that fascinated Escher. That insight was undoubtedly aided by the personal bond that the two had built by this point. M.C. Escher and Hein 's-Gravesande maintained a long friendship, which began in 1932 and lasted until the death of 's-Gravesande more than 30 years later. Over the years, they continued to see each other regularly and wrote each other many letters, not only corresponding on personal experiences but also discussing the individual prints that Escher was working on at the time. In his letters, the graphic artist would express doubts about a subject or technique he was using. In addition, 's-Gravesande regularly got to hear about the time it was taking Escher to print all his woodblocks himself, leaving little time for new prints. read more
When 's-Gravesande moved to Bilthoven in 1952, Escher visited him more often. The two-hour walk was a great opportunity for him to stretch his legs. Hein 's-Gravesande became the person Escher could always turn to. A trusted confidant for the graphic artist who sometimes found himself struggling" (Kersten). The book itself is one of a limited edition, designed by Christopher Sandford (1902-1983), book designer, proprietor of the Golden Cockerel Press, a founding director of the Folio Society. The fine woodcuts are by the New Zealand-born printmaker, painter and draughtsman John Buckland Wright (1897-1954), who worked most of his life in Belgium and France. Endymion is one of the first major works of the British romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821). It rose to fame only after Keats's early death at 25. The opening lines, "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness" are among the most cited poetry in the world. Uncut, as published. A near mint copy. Bool, 322; Kersten, E., escherinhetpaleis.nl (accessed 2024). read less

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